HELLO FRIENDS! It has been such an amazing week and I have so much to talk about. Being a missionary is just the best thing.
Tuesday was a very bittersweet day. Bright and early in the morning we went to the mission office to drop off Sister Paulson. It was really hard and sad to say goodbye, but I am grateful for the 6 weeks we were able to spend together, and I know her family is so happy to have her home. Well, later on that day, I went to the mission home to pick up my new friend!! My new companion is…Sister Harrison! She’s from Saratoga Springs, UT (my 6th companion from Utah hahah), she’s 22 and worked as a massage therapist for a year before coming out (yep I am truly blessed), and she is just a delight. I love her! She is a wonderful missionary and works hard. If you were wondering, training has been so awesome. I love it because I don’t really feel like I’m the teacher and she’s the student, but we are a team. We are both learning together and these next three months will be great.
So a couple of hours after picking up Sister Harrison, we dove straight into her first real lesson in the mission field. We had a lesson with Rosalba Flores and it went so well. We taught her the plan of salvation and she was really receptive. We brought up baptism again, and she said she wants to get baptized she just wants to feel like she knows more before she is…hopefully we can help her understand that she has all the time in the world to learn after she’s baptized as well. But she is awesome. She’s out of town for the next two weeks for work but things will resume when she comes back, and she’s planning on reading from the Book of Mormon while she’s gone. 🙂
Wednesday we had the new missionary orientation meeting. I had so many flashbacks of my own orientation almost 13 months ago…crazy. But it was good. Later on we went to do service at a nursing home. It was so fun! We played games with the old ladies and they were hilarious. They couldn’t remember our names so they started calling us "Sister Harry" and "Sister Marty" hahaha. It work
Thursday was December 1st…aka the Worldwide Day of Service!!! I hope you were all able to light the world with different acts of service. Instead of having our normal district meeting that day, our district did a service project. We went to help out at an organization called "Miracles for Kids". They make blankets and different cozy things for sick children who spend lots of time in hospitals. We spent our time there stuffing teddy bears. Not only was it fun, but it was amazing to think of the comfort that one of those little bears could give to a child who is suffering.
Friday evening was wonderful. We were able to show so many people the Light the World video, and just as "A Savior is Born" did last year, it softened people’s hearts. It was dark while we were out but I really felt as though we were bringing light to the neighborhood we were in (cheesy). One experience we had in particular was amazing. We knocked on a door and two kids answered, we asked if their parents were home and right when we asked, their mom, Sarla, got home from work and walked up to the door. We asked her if we could show her a Christmas video and she invited us in to show her. We showed her and began talking about the restoration of the gospel. She was so open to listening and we were able to set a return appointment with her. As we prayed with her, she got emotional. Heavenly Father’s timing is so perfect. It’s not a coincidence that we knocked on her door right when she got home. Sarla needs our message, and she is prepared to hear it. We are so excited to go back and share more with her.
Saturday morning we had the sweet privilege of attending the baptism of Lauren and Simaiya, a mother and daughter who I taught in Anaheim. When I left Anaheim, we had completely lost contact with Lauren and thought we would never hear from her again. But the week after I left, the sisters randomly ran into her and started teaching her again. Yesterday, Lauren and her daughter entered the waters of baptism. It was a beautiful experience. After she was baptized, Lauren shared her testimony, and she said that she’s never felt more at home than she does in this church. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to teach them and later see them make covenants with our Heavenly Father. I know that this gospel is the way we can live with Him again.
Later that day we went to the one and only Cinnamon Tree. As we were walking around trying to find people we had already met, nobody was answering or was home. It was a little frustrating, but while walking around we kept hearing people loudly singing and a man preaching. You could hear it all throughout the complex. I thought it was maybe a sermon being shown on TV, but we decided to go check it out and see and next thing we know we’re being welcomed into a church service taking place in someone’s apartment. A whole room of Filipino people with their pastor preaching to them. We sat and listened to his sermon. They are all members of a Christian church in LA and every year during December, their members gather together at different people’s homes to celebrate Christmas. We sang with them, prayed with them. It was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had on my mission. The people there kept saying that we were angels sent from God and that it wasn’t a coincidence that we knocked on their door. I agree with them. These people love Jesus Christ so much and they were so welcoming and loving to us. After the sermon, we all prayed together, and they prayed for us. Then they fed us Filipino food (which was sooo good) and even gave us Christmas presents….it was amazing. We didn’t teach them a lesson or anything because that wouldn’t have been appropriate, but we invited them all to the live Nativity that our stake puts on every year. Hopefully they come 🙂
I truly felt the love of God this week. It is a miracle to me that my body has been able to make it through this week. We have worked so hard, yet I’ve been able to push through any ache or pain that I’ve had. And I know it’s only because of my savior, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has definitely shown me my weaknesses this week…I am so imperfect. But through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I have been able to strengthen my weaknesses and become more "perfect in Christ". He is the light of the world. When He was crucified, the earth was completely dark for three days. But when He was resurrected, the light came back. And we have light in the world today because He lives. He is literally the light of the world. And we can be a light to the world as we share His love with others.
I hope you all have an amazing week and continue to #lighttheworld.
All my love,
Sister Martinez ✨
P.S. I literally just fell backwards off of a chair. ✌🏼️
I ❤️ Sister Paulson
You can’t really tell, but the house next door says "ditto –>" hahaha same
Lauren and Simaiya 💕
Our Christmas presents from the Filipino party!
These never ever get old.